The Bates brood! Gil Bates and Kelly Bates have 19 children and document their family’s lives on Bringing Up Bates.
The couple tied the knot in December 1987 and welcomed their first child the following year. By 2012, Kelly had given birth to nine boys and 10 girls, without any multiples in the mix. Many of their kids have gotten married over the years, giving the pair 14 grandchildren — and counting.
Kelly wrote via Instagram in June 2020 that her grandkids keep her “world so bright and happy.” She gushed, “Best therapy ever! Never a dull moment!”
The UPtv personalities first graced television screens in a 2012 series called United Bates of America. They returned to TV for Bringing Up Bates three years later and had reached their 9th season by March 2020.
Having so many kids was mostly Kelly’s idea, Gil told Christian Examiner in April 2016. “My wife one day said, ‘I think God wants us to trust Him on having children,’” he told the outlet at the time. “I said, ‘Wait a minute. We could have 20 kids. You just can’t do that.’ … There are only two things that are going to last forever – God’s Word and people. We went down a path, and we didn’t know anyone else in the world thought this way, but we were convinced it was what we should do.”
He added, “You may be asked to trust the Lord in having no children; you might not be able to have children. It’s not a matter of how many children God gives you; it’s really a matter for us of finding God’s will for your life, and being willing to trust Him in whatever He’s asked you to do. We didn’t know it would be 19 kids, but I don’t think we would have seen and experienced some of the amazing blessings we’ve seen in life had we not chosen to trust God.”
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The Bates family have had a close bond with Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar over the years, who have also welcomed 19 kids of their own.
Keep scrolling to see photos of the reality stars’ children and grandchildren.